US20030227779A1 - Exterior mirror - Google Patents

Exterior mirror Download PDF

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Publication number
US20030227779A1
US20030227779A1 US10/296,745 US29674502A US2003227779A1 US 20030227779 A1 US20030227779 A1 US 20030227779A1 US 29674502 A US29674502 A US 29674502A US 2003227779 A1 US2003227779 A1 US 2003227779A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
light
mirror assembly
mirror
vehicle
support base
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US10/296,745
Inventor
Ian Boddy
Keith Foote
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Magna Mirror Systems Inc
Original Assignee
Magna Mirror Systems Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Magna Mirror Systems Inc filed Critical Magna Mirror Systems Inc
Priority to US10/296,745 priority Critical patent/US20030227779A1/en
Priority to PCT/US2001/017295 priority patent/WO2001092059A2/en
Publication of US20030227779A1 publication Critical patent/US20030227779A1/en
Assigned to MAGNA MIRROR SYSTEMS INC. reassignment MAGNA MIRROR SYSTEMS INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: BODDY, IAN, FOOTE, KEITH D.
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60QARRANGEMENT OF SIGNALLING OR LIGHTING DEVICES, THE MOUNTING OR SUPPORTING THEREOF OR CIRCUITS THEREFOR, FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60Q1/00Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices
    • B60Q1/26Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices the devices being primarily intended to indicate the vehicle, or parts thereof, or to give signals, to other traffic
    • B60Q1/2661Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices the devices being primarily intended to indicate the vehicle, or parts thereof, or to give signals, to other traffic mounted on parts having other functions
    • B60Q1/2665Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices the devices being primarily intended to indicate the vehicle, or parts thereof, or to give signals, to other traffic mounted on parts having other functions on rear-view mirrors
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60QARRANGEMENT OF SIGNALLING OR LIGHTING DEVICES, THE MOUNTING OR SUPPORTING THEREOF OR CIRCUITS THEREFOR, FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60Q3/00Arrangement of lighting devices for vehicle interiors; Lighting devices specially adapted for vehicle interiors
    • B60Q3/20Arrangement of lighting devices for vehicle interiors; Lighting devices specially adapted for vehicle interiors for lighting specific fittings of passenger or driving compartments; mounted on specific fittings of passenger or driving compartments
    • B60Q3/217Doors, e.g. door sills; Steps
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R1/00Optical viewing arrangements
    • B60R1/02Rear-view mirror arrangements
    • B60R1/06Rear-view mirror arrangements mounted on vehicle exterior
    • B60R1/062Rear-view mirror arrangements mounted on vehicle exterior with remote control for adjusting position
    • B60R1/07Rear-view mirror arrangements mounted on vehicle exterior with remote control for adjusting position by electrically powered actuators
    • B60R1/074Rear-view mirror arrangements mounted on vehicle exterior with remote control for adjusting position by electrically powered actuators for retracting the mirror arrangements to a non-use position alongside the vehicle
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R1/00Optical viewing arrangements
    • B60R1/02Rear-view mirror arrangements
    • B60R1/06Rear-view mirror arrangements mounted on vehicle exterior
    • B60R1/078Rear-view mirror arrangements mounted on vehicle exterior easily removable; mounted for bodily outward movement, e.g. when towing
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R1/00Optical viewing arrangements
    • B60R1/12Mirror assemblies combined with other articles, e.g. clocks
    • B60R1/1207Mirror assemblies combined with other articles, e.g. clocks with lamps; with turn indicators

Abstract

An exterior rearview mirror assembly for use on an automotive vehicle comprises a support base for mounting the mirror assembly to the vehicle and a mirror housing pivotally connected to the support base by a pivot mechanism for movement between an extended use position and a folded position. A glass mirror pane is connected to the mirror housing and pivotal between a plurality of articulated position for providing a reflective view from the vehicle. A light source is supported by the support base for illuminating an array of light from the mirror assembly. An actuator is connected to the light source and a controller is coupled to the actuator for illuminating and controlling the light source to project the array of light in a selective one of a plurality of discrete directions from the mirror assembly.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention [0001]
  • The present invention relates generally to an exterior rearview mirror for use on an automotive vehicle, and more particularly, to an exterior rearview mirror having an assist light operable between a plurality of illuminated positions in response to feedback from a vehicle controller. [0002]
  • 2. Description of the Prior Art [0003]
  • Automotive vehicles commonly include exterior rearview mirror assemblies for providing the driver of the vehicle view along the side and toward the rear of the vehicle. The exterior rearview mirror assemblies are typically mounted adjacent the driver's side door and passenger's side door of the vehicle. Conventional exterior rearview mirror assemblies commonly include a support base having a first end for fixedly securing the mirror assembly to the side of the vehicle and a second end for supporting a mirror housing. The mirror housing typically includes a hollow shell for supporting an articulating mirror pane. The mirror pane is adjustable to articulate about an axis for providing varying angles of view to the driver of the vehicle along the side and toward the rear of the vehicle. [0004]
  • It is also known to mount a light source in the mirror assembly for illuminating light adjacent the exterior of the vehicle. These light sources are frequently used to illuminate the rear of the vehicle so that the driver can see at night when looking into the mirror pane during parking of the vehicle. These light sources are also commonly used to provide signal lights within the mirror assembly, such as turn signal lights or brake lights. Still further, these light sources are also used to project a pattern of light on an area, such as the ground, adjacent the side of the vehicle to provide a lighted security zone to assist in entry and exit from the vehicle. Such light sources in rearview mirror assemblies are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,624,176 and 6,172,602 to Donnelly Corporation. [0005]
  • However, it is desirable to provide an exterior rearview mirror assembly having an assist light that is operable between a plurality of illuminated positions in response to feedback from a vehicle controller to project light from the mirror assembly in a several different selective directions. [0006]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to an exterior rearview mirror assembly for use on an automotive vehicle. The mirror assembly includes a support base having a first end adapted to mount the mirror assembly to the vehicle and an opposite second end. A mirror housing is operatively coupled to the support base. A reflective mirror pane is supported by the mirror housing for providing a reflected view from the vehicle. The mirror assembly further includes at least one light source mounted to one of the support base or the mirror housing for illuminating at least one array of light. An actuator is operatively connected to the light source for actuating and illuminating the light source to project the array of light in one of a plurality of discrete directions. The mirror assembly also includes a controller for controlling the actuator and illuminating the light source to project the array of light in a selective one of the plurality of discrete directions.[0007]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein: [0008]
  • FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of an exterior rearview mirror assembly in an extended position according to the subject invention; [0009]
  • FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the mirror assembly in a folded position; [0010]
  • FIG. 3 is a partially exploded and partially broken perspective view of a light source mounted to the mirror assembly according to the subject invention; and [0011]
  • FIG. 4 is a logic control table of the operation of the mirror assembly.[0012]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • Referring to the Figures, wherein like numerals indicate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views, an exterior rearview mirror assembly for use with an automotive vehicle is generally shown at [0013] 10 in FIGS. 1 and 2. Referring specifically to FIG. 1, the mirror assembly 10 includes a support base 12 having a first end 14 and an opposite distal second end 16. The first end 14 is adapted to be fixedly secured to the side of a vehicle, such as an exterior A-pillar or door panel as depicted at 18. The support base 12 extends outwardly from the door panel 18 along a generally horizontal plane from the first end 14 to the second end 16. The mirror assembly 10 further includes a mirror housing 20 operatively coupled to the support base 12. More specifically, the mirror housing 20 includes a hollow shell portion 22 having a front opening 24 and an extension arm portion 26 extending from the shell portion 22 and coupled to the support base 12. The arm portion 26 is coupled to the support base 12 by a power and/or manual pivot mechanism 28, as is conventionally known in the art and to one skilled in the art. The pivot mechanism 28 pivots the mirror housing 20 about the support base 12 between an extended use position, as shown in FIG. 1, and a folded, or stowed, position as shown in FIG. 2.
  • The mirror assembly [0014] 10 also includes a mirror pane 30 operatively coupled to the mirror housing 20 by a swivel member 32. The mirror pane 30 is a reflex glass pane for providing a reflective view to the occupant of the vehicle. The swivel member 32 pivotally connects the mirror pane 30 to the mirror housing 20 for providing articulating, or pivotal, movement of the mirror pane 30 with respect to the mirror housing 20 in order to adjust the angular view through the mirror pane 30 from the vehicle as is commonly known to one skilled in the art. The mirror assembly 10 additionally includes at least one light source 34 mounted to the support base 12 for illuminating at least one source of light from the mirror assembly 10. It should be appreciated that the light source 34 may also be mounted to the mirror housing 20 without varying from the scope of the invention.
  • Referring to FIG. 3, the distal second end [0015] 16 of the support base 12 and the light source 34 is shown. The second end 16 of the support base 12 includes an inner wall 36, a rear wall 38 projecting outwardly from the inner wall 36, and an upper wall 40 interconnecting the inner wall 36 and the rear wall 38. The inner wall 36, rear wall 38, and upper wall 40 form a partial funnel-like structure on the second end of the support base 12. A hollow and transparent lens 42 is removably secured to the second end 16 of the support base 12 and covers the inner wall 36, rear wall 38 and upper wall 40. The lens 42 may be clear plastic, colored or include fresnel lenses imbedded therein for shaping light from the light source 34. The light source 34 further includes a plurality of light filaments 44, 46, 48. A first light filament 44 is fixedly secured to the inner wall 36, a second light filament 46 is secured to the rear wall 38 and a third light filament 48 is secured to the upper wall 40. The light filament may be an LED, as shown in FIG. 3, or may include a bulb filament, or other known light-producing source. The light filaments 44, 46, 48 project an array of light in a discrete direction from the end of the support base 12. More specifically, the light filament 44 projects an array of light outwardly from the mirror assembly 10 and generally perpendicular from the side of the vehicle. The light filament 46 projects an array of light rearward toward the back or rear of the vehicle. Finally, the light filament 48 projects an array of light downwardly toward the ground adjacent the side of the vehicle.
  • Referring again to FIG. 1, the mirror assembly [0016] 10 further includes an actuator 50 operatively connected to the light source 34 for actuating and illuminating the light source 34 to project the array of light in one of a plurality of discrete directions. More specifically, the actuator 50 is electrically connected to each of the light filaments 44, 46, 48 for actuating and illuminating each of the light filaments 44, 46, 48. When activated, the light filament 44, 46, or 48 projects an array of light in the respective discrete direction as described above. The actuator 50 of the preferred embodiment is a series of electrical circuits connected to each of the light filaments 44, 46, 48 for sending an electrical current to the light filament 44, 46, or 48 to actuate and illuminate the filament 44, 46, 48.
  • The mirror assembly [0017] 10 also includes a controller, shown schematically at 52 in FIG. 1, for controlling the actuator 50 and illuminating the light source 34 to project the array of light in a selective one of the plurality of discrete directions. That is, the controller 52 sends a signal to the actuator 50 to selectively actuate one of the light filaments 44, 46, or 48 to project the array of light in the respective discrete direction from the light filament 44, 46, or 48. The controller 52 receives input signals 54 from various components 56 of the vehicle and transmits an output signal 58 to the actuator 50 to selectively actuate and illuminate one of the light filaments 44, 46, or 48. More specifically, the components 56 of the vehicle transmitting input signals 54 to the controller 52 may include one or more of the following: a vehicle “key fob” for locking and unlocking the doors of the vehicle, a sensor for indicating the open and closed state of the vehicle doors, a vehicle transmission, a vehicle transmission selector, and/or an ignition sensor.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, a control table [0018] 60 is shown illustrating the operation of the mirror assembly 19. In operation when the vehicle operator is approaching the vehicle, the mirror housing 20 is in the folded position and the mirror pane 30 remains parked in its previously operator adjusted position, or “normal” position. If the operator activates the keyfob component 56 to unlock the doors of the vehicle, the controller 52 sends a signal to the actuator 50 and activates the light source 34, or assist light, to an “ON” condition. More specifically, the light filament 44 is turned on and illuminated to direct light from the mirror assembly 10 to assist the operator in locating the vehicle. It should be appreciated that the controller 52 and actuator 50 may activate each of the light filaments 44, 46, and 48 to project additional light from the mirror assembly 10 if desired. After the keyfob component 56 is activated and the operator continues to approach the vehicle, the controller 52 sends a signal to the actuator 50 to switch the light source 34 from illuminating filament 44 to filament 48 to project light downwardly from the mirror assembly 10 toward the ground adjacent the side door of the vehicle to assist in ingress and egress to the vehicle. The light filament 48 is activated after a predetermined period of time, delta T, has elapsed, such as one or two minutes. Once the operator opens the door of the vehicle, the assist light 34 is turn “OFF”. Next, when the ignition component 56 is activated to the “ON” condition to start the vehicle, the pivot mechanism 28 may automatically pivot the mirror housing 20 from the folded position to the extended use position. When the transmission component 56 is selected to a “DRIVE” position, the mirror housing 20 remains in the extended position and the light source 34 remains “OFF”. If the operator places the vehicle transmission in the “REVERSE” selection, the mirror pane 30 may be powered to the downward viewing position and the controller 52 sends a signal to the actuator 50 to illuminated the light filament 46 to the “ON” position to assist the vehicle operator in viewing to the rear of the vehicle.
  • Finally, when the ignition component [0019] 56 of the vehicle is turned “OFF” and/or the keyfob component 56 is activated to “LOCK” the vehicle, the pivot mechanism 28 pivots the mirror housing 20 to the folded position and the light source 34 is turned “OFF”. It should be appreciated that the controller 52 may be program to control and actuate the pivot mechanism 28 for folding of the mirror housing 20, the articulation of the mirror pane 30 and the activation of the light source(s) 34, either independently, combined or as desired for various combinations.
  • The invention has been described in an illustrative manner, and it is to be understood that the terminology, which has been used, is intended to be in the nature of words of description rather than of limitation. [0020]
  • Many modification and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced other than as specifically described. [0021]

Claims (12)

What is claimed is:
1. An exterior rearview mirror assembly for use on an automotive vehicle comprising:
a support base having a first end adapted to mount said mirror assembly to the vehicle and an opposite second end;
a mirror housing coupled to said support base;
a reflective mirror pane supported by said mirror housing for providing a reflected view from the vehicle;
at least one light source mounted to one of said support base and said mirror housing for illuminating at least one array of light;
an actuator operatively connected to said light source for actuating and illuminating said light source to project said array of light in one of a plurality of discrete directions; and
a controller for controlling said actuator and illuminating said light source to project said array of light in a selective one of said plurality of discrete directions.
2. A mirror assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said light source includes at least three light filaments mounted to one of said support base and said mirror housing for illuminating in three corresponding arrays of light in different discrete directions.
3. A mirror assembly as set forth in claim 2 further including a pivot mechanism for pivotally coupling said mirror housing to said support base for providing pivotal movement of said mirror housing between an extended use position extending generally transverse and perpendicular from the vehicle and a folded position pivoted adjacent the side of the vehicle.
4. A mirror assembly as set forth in claim 3 wherein said second end of said support base includes an planar inner wall, a planar rear wall generally perpendicular to said inner wall, and a planar upper wall generally perpendicular to each of said inner and rear walls.
5. A mirror assembly as set forth in claim 4 wherein one of said light filaments is fixedly secured to each of said inner wall, rear wall and upper wall for illuminating said array of light in said discrete direction defined as generally perpendicular to said plane of said respective inner rear and upper wall.
6. A mirror assembly as set forth in claim 5 further including a generally transparent lens removably coupled to said second end of said support base for enclosing said light filaments while allowing said array of light to project therethrough.
7. A mirror assembly as set forth in claim 6 wherein said mirror housing includes a generally hollow shell portion having a front opening and an extension arm portion extending from said shell portion and pivotally coupled to said first end of said support base by said pivot mechanism.
8. A mirror assembly as set forth in claim 7 further including a mirror pane operatively coupled to said shell portion by a swivel member and seated in said opening for pivotal movement to provide a selective rearward reflective view from said mirror assembly.
9. A mirror assembly as set forth in claim 8 wherein said actuator is electrically connected to each of said light filaments for independent actuating each of said light filaments to project said arrays of light.
10. A mirror assembly as set forth in claim 9 wherein said controller is electrically connected to said actuator for providing an output signal to said actuator selectively illuminating one or more of said light filaments in response to said controller receiving an input signal from a light selection component.
11. A mirror assembly as set forth in claim 10 wherein said light filaments include an LED.
12. A mirror assembly as set forth in claim 10 wherein said light filaments include a bulb filament.
US10/296,745 2000-05-26 2001-05-29 Exterior mirror Abandoned US20030227779A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10/296,745 US20030227779A1 (en) 2001-05-29 2001-05-29 Exterior mirror
PCT/US2001/017295 WO2001092059A2 (en) 2000-05-26 2001-05-29 A vehicle exterior mirror having an assist light

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10/296,745 US20030227779A1 (en) 2001-05-29 2001-05-29 Exterior mirror

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US20030227779A1 true US20030227779A1 (en) 2003-12-11

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US10/296,745 Abandoned US20030227779A1 (en) 2000-05-26 2001-05-29 Exterior mirror

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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6847288B1 (en) * 2003-06-17 2005-01-25 Baschnagel, Iii Robert J. Side mirror retracting vehicle alarm system
US20060109572A1 (en) * 2004-11-24 2006-05-25 Mirror Lite Mirror a-pillar mounting bracket assembly
US20070053195A1 (en) * 2005-09-08 2007-03-08 K.W. Muth Company, Inc. Visual warning device
US7195382B1 (en) 2004-06-30 2007-03-27 Magna Donnelly Mirrors North America, L.L.C. Vehicle mirror with secondary lighting lens for ground illuminator

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US4475100A (en) * 1982-02-22 1984-10-02 Duh Ching Jeng Side mirror with indicator light
US4809137A (en) * 1987-07-24 1989-02-28 Kiyoshi Yamada Back-mirror fitted with illumination light at car side
US5371659A (en) * 1993-02-01 1994-12-06 Donnelly Corporation Remote-actuated exterior vehicle security light
US5497306A (en) * 1993-02-01 1996-03-05 Donnelly Corporation Exterior vehicle security light
US5669699A (en) * 1994-11-02 1997-09-23 Donnelly Corporation Exterior vehicle security light
US5823654A (en) * 1993-02-01 1998-10-20 Donnelly Corporation Universal exterior vehicle security light
US6206553B1 (en) * 1998-01-22 2001-03-27 Magna Mirror Systems Inc. Single pivot mirror with security light
US6227689B1 (en) * 1999-09-28 2001-05-08 Donnelly Corporation Illumination device for exterior mirror
US6416208B2 (en) * 1993-02-01 2002-07-09 Donnelly Corporation Vehicle exterior mirror system with signal light
US6568839B1 (en) * 1993-02-01 2003-05-27 Donnelly Corporation Vehicle exterior mirror system with signal light

Patent Citations (24)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4475100A (en) * 1982-02-22 1984-10-02 Duh Ching Jeng Side mirror with indicator light
US4809137A (en) * 1987-07-24 1989-02-28 Kiyoshi Yamada Back-mirror fitted with illumination light at car side
US6099155A (en) * 1993-02-01 2000-08-08 Donnelly Corporation Security lighted vehicular exterior rearview mirror system
US5497305A (en) * 1993-02-01 1996-03-05 Donnelly Corporation Remote-actuated exterior vehicle security light
US5497306A (en) * 1993-02-01 1996-03-05 Donnelly Corporation Exterior vehicle security light
US6568839B1 (en) * 1993-02-01 2003-05-27 Donnelly Corporation Vehicle exterior mirror system with signal light
US5669705A (en) * 1993-02-01 1997-09-23 Donnelly Corporation Exterior vehicle mirror system including signal light
US5669704A (en) * 1993-02-01 1997-09-23 Donnelly Corporation Exterior vehicle security light
US5823654A (en) * 1993-02-01 1998-10-20 Donnelly Corporation Universal exterior vehicle security light
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US6296379B1 (en) * 1993-02-01 2001-10-02 Donnelly Corporation Vehicle exterior mirror system with turn signal light assembly
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US6416208B2 (en) * 1993-02-01 2002-07-09 Donnelly Corporation Vehicle exterior mirror system with signal light
US5669699A (en) * 1994-11-02 1997-09-23 Donnelly Corporation Exterior vehicle security light
US6206553B1 (en) * 1998-01-22 2001-03-27 Magna Mirror Systems Inc. Single pivot mirror with security light
US6227689B1 (en) * 1999-09-28 2001-05-08 Donnelly Corporation Illumination device for exterior mirror
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Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6847288B1 (en) * 2003-06-17 2005-01-25 Baschnagel, Iii Robert J. Side mirror retracting vehicle alarm system
US20050017853A1 (en) * 2003-06-17 2005-01-27 Baschnagel Robert J. Side mirror retracting vehicle alarm system
US7195382B1 (en) 2004-06-30 2007-03-27 Magna Donnelly Mirrors North America, L.L.C. Vehicle mirror with secondary lighting lens for ground illuminator
US20060109572A1 (en) * 2004-11-24 2006-05-25 Mirror Lite Mirror a-pillar mounting bracket assembly
US20070053195A1 (en) * 2005-09-08 2007-03-08 K.W. Muth Company, Inc. Visual warning device
US7192172B1 (en) * 2005-09-08 2007-03-20 K.W. Muth Company, Inc. Visual warning device

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Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: MAGNA MIRROR SYSTEMS INC., MICHIGAN

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:FOOTE, KEITH D.;BODDY, IAN;REEL/FRAME:014839/0216

Effective date: 20031110

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION